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review 2018-01-17 11:12
Again
Do Over - Serena Bell

Jack has been in love with Maddie for so long.  He has no idea how to tell her he wants to try again.  He is trying so hard to be a good dad to their son.  He makes room for them in his life.   To the consternation of his friends, he makes her a priority.

 

Maddie has a hot past with Jack.  They are making it also a hot present.  Can she trust a man who has admitted to cheating on her?  Is there a way to meet in the middle?  When her current man breaks her heart  - it is easier to give up then to trust again.

 

This was a sweet but completely hot book.  I found the sexy times more than sparks that were jumping off the page.  You can feel the heat between these two.  Their sincere love for their son.  It just humbles you to read this and with a surprise ending, is worth every page.  I give this a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-01-17 03:26
Creepy premise that pushes the edge of kid-appropriate horror
Shadow Weaver - MarcyKate Connolly

Disclaimer: reviewing uncorrected digital proof via NetGalley

 

This story had some really interesting ideas but didn't hold my attention as well as I'd have liked. The relationship between the main character and her shadow (invisible friend?) is interesting, unique, and offers some unusual opportunities to show a story from a very interior perspective. I really liked the setup and premise. Adult readers will very quickly pick up on the fact that the shadow is a rather suspicious character, but if kids take a little longer to clue in, it still shapes up a nicely creepy, ominous and dark fantasy/horror-lite atmosphere. The setting is that vaguely Medieval Europe-ish world of stone manors/castles and rural cottages, which is a draw for some readers, but tends to be a little light on worldbuilding because it relies on familiar tropes.

 

The threats that launch the adventure felt unlikely; I just didn't buy into the parents' nastiness or the risk of kidnapping by enemy agents. Other child characters were handled well (kids with powers/light-magic boy & power-radar girl) but adults faded into the background. Which, to a certain degree, is fine in kidlit, because the story has to be driven by the child characters, but I felt like it stole some of the intensity, depth, and motivation from the story. As the first book in a series, it seems to be setting things up, without high enough stakes or a shocking enough reveal for my taste. However, an age-appropriate reader might not have the same reaction, and would probably experience the atmosphere and threats as more creepy. 

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review 2018-01-16 21:01
The Emerald Lily
The Emerald Lily (Vampire Blood Book 4) - Juliette Cross
In the first book (The Black Lily) we were introduced to Vilhelmina or Mina. Mina was the bride for Marius, but wasn't. In the last book (The Emerald Lily), we learned that Vilhelmina, (Mina) was in a bloodless sleep, a vampire form of torture. 
Luckily, I didn't have long to wait as Mina is rescued by Mikhail right at the beginning. I liked Mina's re-awakening, for lack of a better word. She grew from a sheltered, naive girl to a strong independent woman. I liked that she didn't like who she was and became someone she did like. I liked the moment when she claimed what was hers by right. And, yeah, she helped win the day. 
Mikhail is a good match for her. I liked that the rebellion, from book 1, continued to grow and this book concludes that rebellion. I am sad since I liked this series and wanted to learn more about Grant, Dane, Katya, and Riker (it would have been nice for them to get their HEAs too).

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing and NetGalley.
Publishes Jan 29th
 
 

 

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review 2018-01-16 18:31
Review: The Hanging Girl
The Hanging Girl - Eileen Cook

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

A fun twisty YA mystery novel.

 

The heroine, Candi “Skye” Thorn, goes by her middle name “Skye” (can’t say I blame her there) does tarot reading for her classmates at school as a way of making some extra cash. She and her best friend Drew have this idea that when they graduate they’ll finally be able to ditch their small home town and head off to New York and live in an apartment together. BFF comes from a wealthy family, Skye lives in a crappy apartment with her mom and money is an issue.

 

So Skye has a regular job and reads tarots for extra cash. Skye is fake, she reads off intuition and good guesses. She’s not part of a crowd, pretty much a loner and has a somewhat blunt personality I quite liked. She’s a lot more down to earth than most girls her age, and has a fairly logical sense of reality. (I.E. not all convinced that this dream of going to New York is really going to happen) Skye does come across as rather cynical. But given her circumstances it’s believable for her character arc. Her mom is actually convinced she is a real psychic. And appears to be kind of a flake.

 

When a popular, rich girl of a local very important Judge, Paige goes missing, Skye starts having “psychic” visions relating to Paige and her disappearance. She winds up working with the police one really grumpy and dismissive detective and one who seems a lot nicer and more inclined to listen to what Paige has to offer. Especially when some of Skye’s “visions” start panning out and yielding actual results. Basically the old good cop, bad cop routine. And of course Skye’s mom is thrilled her daughter is exhibiting “psychic” abilities.  And eventually Paige’s parents come into the plot.  Along with an angry ex boyfriend of Paige’s who doesn’t believe a word of what Skye says and is convinced there is more going on.

 

He’s not far wrong.

 

Skye has gotten herself involved in something that turns out to be darker than she had ever imagined. Initially it seemed like a good idea to make a bundle of money. Only the drama has escalate and things are going badly wrong and people are turning out to be nothing like she expected. Nothing goes according to any sort of plan and then a dead body turns up. And now Skye is thrown into a murder investigation.

 

Which reveals even more twists. It was quite a tense and fast paced plot, and very well written. Interesting characters, and I will say I didn’t actually guess what was going on in this one. The last few sort of twists were pretty damn good, and I liked the way it all wrapped up and concluded.

 

I’ve liked everything I’ve read by this author so far so this is definitely one that will be going on my auto-buy list.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre/Hot Key Books for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2018-01-16 05:57
Modern Embroidery
Tula Pink Coloring with Thread: Stitching a Whimsical World with Hand Embroidery - Tula Pink

Tula Pink Coloring with Thread is a nicely-produced book of embroidery lessons and patterns. Each pattern includes a stitched example which is important to stitchers deciding which design to choose and how their stitches should look. Patterns are clearly marked and easy to follow. Directions on each type of stitch are given with illustrations. The designs are stitched with Anchor threads, but most American stitchers use DMC as a default, so it would have been nice to have DMC equivalencies listed. (Never fear, conversion charts can be searched up online.) Many suggestions on finishing are provided. The designs are modern and would fit nicely with a retro/50s theme as well.

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